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What is Statistical Copywriting?

12 January, 2007 (21:56) | Copywriting | By: Nick Dalton

Very few of us have the natural talents or the required time available to become a great copywriter. That is why the truly great copywriters can charge tens of thousands of dollars, and more, to write a single sales letter. What can we mere mortals with limited budgets do?

Swipe Files

A technique used by both beginner and professional copywriters is called a swipe file. The principle is to save good headlines and sales copy that you come across in a file. When you write new copy you look at your swipe file for inspiration. You obviously cannot copy other writers work verbatim, but for finding inspiration and powerful words it’s a great technique.

One problem with collecting material for your swipe file is to know if the text that you are saving turned out to be profitable or not for the company who originally used it. If you start writing your next sales letter using material that did not result in any sales to begin with, then it is not likely that you will make many sales either.

Statistical copywriting takes existing copy that has been categorized as profitable or non-profitable and uses statistical analysis to find words, parts of words, punctuation and numbers that occur more frequently in profitable copy than in non-profitable copy. With this statistical knowledge it is possible to assign a score to any text that you enter. A higher score means that your text is more like sales copy that is known to be profitable.

What is Profitable?

However the problem of determining if a particular piece of sales copy if profitable or not, remains. If you have any relationship with the company using the sales copy you may find out that way. Or if the person who wrote the text is a big name copywriter, then it’s more likely that the result is profitable than not. Another way to solve this problem is to collect data over a longer period of time. It is a fairly safe assumption that if a company pays for the same ad week after week in the classifieds section of a newspaper or on Google AdWords, then that ad is profitable. You can start doing this right now within your niche since you are already keeping an eye on your competitors.

Thanks to the Internet and all the publicly available online advertisements it is possible to collect data on a much grander scale. 100,000 pieces of sales copy over a period of 12 months would create a nice database. Then it’s just a mathematical problem to analyze the data.

Check Out This Video

It should not surprise you that this massive data collection has already been done. Here’s a video that shows the end result of that study: play video

Next Part of the Tutorial

In the next part of this tutorial you will learn how to apply statistical copywriting, step by step, in your work.

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